30 Day Rights Form 1205
Department of Motor Vehicle Safety (DMVS) form 1205 is a very dangerous form. That's right, dangerous. This "simple" form is actually a multi-purpose form designed to inform you of the arresting officer's intention to initiate a suspension of your Georgia license to operate a motor vehicle anywhere. This form also notifies (however subtly) non-residents of Georgia that the officer intends to suspend the driver's privilege to operate a vehicle on an out-of-state license within the state of Georgia.
What makes this form so dangerous is that it is referred to by most officers as a "temporary permit to drive." It is with that thought in mind that many drivers "thank" the officer, fold up the 1204 form and put it in their wallets or purses and drive away from the jail, never reading and never having been told by the officer of the suspension provisions contained within it. That's bad.
Even worse, this folded, crumpled piece of yellow paper contains a provision on the back side that says "you have 30 days to request a hearing on the officer's request to suspend". Guess what happens if you do not request a hearing within 30 days, IN WRITING? That's right, the suspension will be automatic at the end of 45 days!
It is because of this harsh, summary suspension that most experienced DUI lawyers are concerned about drivers being in touch with their legal offices as soon after the arrest as is possible. The lawyer will likely assist you in preparing this letter requesting a hearing, even before you decide to hire the lawyer. This letter should be sent by certified or registered mail and received by DMVS within that 30-day window provided by law. However, if you are already beyond the 30 day period, you should still contact an experienced DUI lawyer to find out what, if anything, might be done. There are some exceptions to this general rule and a DUI lawyer will know what these exceptions are.
Filing a timely request for a hearing will result in your being notified of a time and place where an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will hear evidence, under oath and determine if your driver's license or privilege should be suspended. This hearing is subject to its own appeal process in Superior Court. Most importantly, this hearing offers your attorney an opportunity to find out what the officer is going to say in advance of any future trial. Many officers will not even show up when they are notified that certain lawyers are "on the case," so some drivers win this hearing by default.
Remember, too, this "temporary permit" does not authorize driving outside the state of Georgia. Also, while it is indicated that the permit is for 30 days, if you have made the written request for a hearing and no hearing has been provided during that 30 day period, the permit is extended until such hearing is conducted. But be sure to keep your form 1205 AND the written request with you at all times when you are driving.
There are several aspects of this hearing that are or may be beneficial to you, so ask your lawyer about the "ALS Hearing" and don't fail to exercise your right to have one. If you want my assistance, call my office now at 706-284-4380 to get a “free form” to request a hearing to protect your right to drive beyond the 45 day period and set a hearing to attempt to avoid the ALS suspension altogether. There are no strings attached to this offer.